The Origins of The Pre-Trib Rapture?
This verse sticks to the core because Jesus said it during this meeting with His disciples! If Jesus wasn't qualified to speak in regards to the tribulation then we must strike the above verse out also. There's one thing we can be assured of, in spite of heaven and earth passing away and the ushering in a new heaven and earth, Jesus' words will always stand!
And in Malachi, God Said"
So if Jesus told His disciples they would see Anti-christ He meant it and God didn't use the apostles to change this!
There are those who use "symbolism" to justify pre-tribulationism. Their claim is Jesus was referring His discussion toward "tribulation saints." But Jesus made His point very clear. Jesus talked to His disciples privately. And they were to teach this message to other disciples of all nations as well!!!
Did the Apostles, teach the pre-trib rapture or did they confirm what Jesus taught?
Let's suppose they did. Would they be adding to the word of God? What does God's word say in Proverbs?
So, it's obvious, anyone who adds to God's word will be proved a liar, including the pre-trib "literal" approach to Matthew chapter 24 and those who give a different spin. In another old testament book, God says:
It is very clear. Not only are you to refrain from adding to God's word, we shall not take away from it as well. God also said:
So, then did the apostles add or take away from Jesus' word, or did they take away from His command at the great commission by introducing the pre-trib rapture. Or did they merely confirm what Jesus said all along?
Let's look in Paul's letter to the Thessalonians. Paul said concerning the rapture:
Paul said that the dead shall rise first. And then the ones are alive will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the Air. Paul did not say this would happen before the tribulation, nor did he say this was secret, but he said the dead will rise first. Concerning the dead, Jesus said in John:
For this is the will of My Father that everyone who beholds the son and believes Him, may have eternal life; and I myself will rise him up on the last day."
Jesus said that everyone who believes in Him, Jesus himself will raise them up on the last day. Since there will be saints who believe in Jesus and die during the tribulation He will raise them up also. You will find no references to a "two-phased last day" in scripture. And since dead tribulation saints can't be raised up before the tribulation for obvious reasons, then everybody who believes in Jesus will be raised at the last day, after the tribulation! John further verifies what Jesus and Paul said:
"...I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image...and they came and to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.Revelation 20:4-6 NASB
John described the dead, they included:
They came to life after the tribulation. John said "This is the first resurrection." he didn't say this is the "third of four phases" of the first resurrection as Hal Lindsay assumes! So, it is very clear the first resurrection is after the Tribulation. And since the dead must rise first before the rapture, then the rapture is after the tribulation. So we must conclude the Apostles didn't teach anything contrary to Jesus' words on the Mount of Olives!
As Jesus said the disciples would see the abomination of desolation, Paul wrote to the Thessalonians:
Paul said the day of the Lord (the day that Jesus comes) will not happen unless apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed (the Anti-christ) whom the Lord
Since it is very clear that neither Jesus nor His apostles taught a pre-tribulation rapture, then it is settled! However, as pre-tribbers, they "justify " their position that pre-tribulation was taught by certain church leaders in history. Grant Jeffrey has "quoted" early church leaders to "justify" his claim that they were pre-trib. However, the ones he "quotes" are few and are the exception rather than the rule.And he misquotes them to justify his claim. There are others who give outer-bible meanings of pre-trib such as "bible codes," Jewish wedding customs, or even man-made laws. But this is outside the realm of holy scripture and contradicts the very words of Jesus.
There are pre-tribbers suh as John Woolvard who agree this teaching is relatively new to the church. And there are post-tribbers who strongly agree as well. Walter Martin, the Original Bible Answer Man and founder of the Christian Research Institute answered calls on his radio talk show on various topics. There were times when people would call in and ask him questions about the rapture. He said the teaching began in the nineteenth century. In an audio tape, The Tribulation and the Church, he alluded to this:
What Martin said concerning this fifteen year old was true. She did have a "revelation." However in 1830 her vision, it was a "vision" of a a partial-pre-tribulation rapture. In this rapture, the "spirit filled" Christians would be taken to be with the Lord and rest of the church would remain on earth to face the Anti-christ. Nevertheless, this was the first time a rapture was seen happening before the Anti-christ was revealed. Margaret Macdonald, the fifteen year old girl from Port Glasgow, Scotland wrote letters to Edward Irving's Catholic Apostolic Church regarding her vision. And Macdonald's vision was first taught by Irving's Apostolic Church and her version appeared in their publication, The Morning Watch. John Nelson Darby, one of the founders of the Plymouth Brethren Movement, visited MacDonald and developed the pre-tribulation rapture and taught it years later.
There is conflict concerning this because modern pre-tribbers disclaim Macdonald as the source and give full credit to Darby. One conflict lies within the Irving movement itself. Irving was defrocked of his ministry while he pastored a Church of Scotland in London, England. He taught Jesus had a fallen sinful nature and was kept from sinning by the power of the Holy Spirit. In his Apostolic Church there were "manifestations" of tongues and other visions among his members. So it is very likely to discredit the Irving camp because of this. And it also likely to reject their position because Macdonald had a "partial" pre-trib rapture vision rather than a full-church pre-trib rapture.
Details relating to the origins can be found on other websites. And I Have provided links at the end of this article.
Whoever gets the credit or is responsible for introducing the pre-trib rapture can be debated for a long time and God is the judge of that. But the pre-trib rapture stands or falls by the test of scripture alone. And some things you can be assured of:
Where does this stand in relation to this website. As I said in my statement of purpose:
I will not spend a great deal of time writing on the pre-trib origins for I am not an expert on this matter. Even though pre-trib origins are important, the dispensational doctrine of the pre-trib rapture stands and falls on the scriptures alone.
Part of the Information I received is from Dave MacPherson's book, The Rapture Plot. MacPherson has spent over thirty years researching this origin. If you are interested in purchasing this book, I have it posted with a hyperlink in the "Recommended Books and Tapes" section on this website.
. As Paul said:
"...test everything; hold fast what is good"
And as Jesus Said to His Disciples and to Us:
1. Dr. Walter Martin, The Tribulation and the Church. This audiotape may be obtained through the Walter Martin Religious Infonet Website (http://www.waltermartin.org).
2.Statement of Purpose, May 2000 (www.tribulationcentral.com/purpose.html) .
From Last Trumpet-Post-Trib Research Center
By Ed Tarkowski of The Second Coming of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
By John McKee of Tribulation News Network Online
By CH Fisher of Truth Keepers